It used to be only the Brady Campaign that "graded" the states on their gun laws. Now, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence (previously the Legal Community Against Violence, a group of anti-gun lawyers in San Francisco, funded by the Joyce Foundation and some of the other usual suspects) has gotten into the act.
And it is indeed an "act," as the anti-gun groups' "grades" are pure sideshow--frivolous distractions from serious discussions about the (non-)relationship between gun control laws and crime take place.
Apparently, it wasn't a good idea for the anti-gunners to start punching numbers into their calculators just after getting off the roller-coaster, because both groups gave bad grades to most states, even though violent crime rates have declined for the last 20 years and are relatively low today.
Here's an example. The Brady Campaign gave zero "stars" (an "F," essentially) to 31 states and one "star" (a "D") to nine states. Meanwhile, the lawyers gave "F" grades to 24 states and "D" grades to 10 states. Only a few weeks ago, the FBI reported violent crime data for 2011, which in conjunction with FBI reports from previous years showed that the nation's violent crime rate has declined for 18 of the last 20 years, 49 percent overall, to a 41-year low. The rate of the most serious violent crime--murder--has fallen 52 percent in the last 20 years, to a 48-year low.
Here's another one: Both groups give their best grades ("A-" from the lawyers, four "stars" from Brady) to California, despite the fact that California's murder rate is higher than the rates of 30 states, and 73 percent higher than the average rate of those states. On top of that, 20 of those 30 states got an "F" or "D" from the lawyers, and 24 got a "0" or "1" from Brady. Brady even gave zero stars--an "F"--to the six states that have the lowest murder rates, which is about on par with its grades in previous years!
And here's one more: The lawyers say that there are 10 states that have the "strongest" gun laws and 10 that have the "weakest." But guess what. The average murder rate of the states with those "strong" gun control laws is 2.2 times higher than the average rate of the other states.
And so on. You get the idea.
We understand why the anti-gunners are frustrated, of course. Over the last 20 years, many gun control laws have been eliminated or ameliorated at the federal, state and local levels. Americans keep buying several million guns annually, including the guns that anti-gunners most loathe: semi-automatic self-defense handguns and rifles like the AR-15. And the number of Right-to-Carry states has risen to an all-time high (41).
One has to question why the opponents of freedom continue with their "grades" silliness.